Lekagar, the Black River

((Unless stated, all images displayed on this world are made by me, Chrispy_0))

Article Contents

The Lekagar, which literally means Black River (Lek - Black, Agar - River) is a large river that runs through the eastern portion of the Kenerif Continent. It has its sources in the mountains of the Ancestor Desert and empties into the The Sunken Lands at the Void Lagoon. Throughout most of history, the river was a major border between two major powers until they merged into the single nation that makes up modern day Vefaria.
 
The Lekagar is host to numerous plant and animal species, many of which are endemic to the river system. The river system runs through several different biomes from high mountains and grasslands, to low lying swamps and forests, to coastal marshlands. The black color of the water is due to the high concentrations of tannic acid from the plants growing near the river, giving the water a permanently darkened appearance through nearly its entire length. This water empties into the Void Lagoon, which also gets its name from the blackened waters.
Length: 1,496 km
Watershed area: 189,469 km2
Elevation Range: 1,483m to Sea Level
Outflow: 8,000m3/s
Average Depth: 15m
Source: Crystal Highsands
Mouth: Void Lagoon

Notable Settlements:
  • Barun Deth
  • Alma-Wreth
  • Vorem-Wreth (Ruins)
  • Viralm (Ruins)


  • Map


    Lekagar Map
    NOTE: Map Contains 5 Layers.

    River Course

    Crystal Source

    The River's main source lay in Halana's Glacier. The melt water flows into cracks in the ground, into the Lureshei Neron, or Crystal Caverns. These caverns form one of the only exit points for water leaving the Crystal Highsands, a large endorheic basin that is entirely a desert. In ancient times this desert was an inland sea, but nearly all of the water has evaporated away or drained to lower elevations. Due to the mineral content of the water and the high temperature in the caverns, large clear crystals line the walls and ceiling.

    On leaving the cavern, the river flows quickly through the Crystal Source valley, a large grassland that has large quartz crystals lying around everywhere. The most important city here is Alma-Wreth, a large town that has several operational mines in the area. The crystals mined from this area are critical for many sensitive electronic components. As many wars have been fought for control of Alma-Wreth as have been fought for control of the city of Vorem-Wreth at the mouth of the river.
    Crystal Caverns by Various

    Plains of Serenity

    The majority of the river's course is through flat plains. The river is wide and flows slowly here. Thick forests grow all over and only the smallest hints of former Regalti civilization can be seen, usually the overgrown ruins of old factory cities, but also several large orchards of Veil Trees and similar plants.

    This part of the river used to be a major industrial area, one of the largest on the Planet Collena. The river was heavily polluted and there was very little in the way of life in the water. Then the Exodus happened, and nearly every Regalti left the area. Nature reclaimed the land and the toxins of industry were swept out to sea. After several centuries, life filled the river once more.

    River Mouth and Void Lagoon

    Near the mouth of the river is the Void Lagoon, itself a sunken extension of the Lekagar's river delta. There are massive stinging tentacles that expand outwards each winter and drag anything it can latch onto into the depths. It was believed that the lagoon led to the very depths of hell, but it is now known that the tentacles are part of a primitive root system, created by the single largest Skyshell known to have existed.

    Also near the mouth of the river are the ruins of the city of Vorem-Wreth. Throughout history, numerous wars have been fought over control of the city and for control of the entirety of the eastern half of the continent. It was destroyed in the devastating War of Purges around the year 270 B.E.

    The Sunken Lands and Ladgan Swamps and Keys

    In ancient times, the Lekagar was over 500km longer than it is today. A Tectonic rift affecting the southwest of the continent was draining magma underneath what is the modern day Sunken Lands. The River originally flowed directly into the Orgon Entar, or Eastern Ocean, but by roughly 2500 B.E., the river retreated to its present day location. This time period was capped by the eruption of Edagatsra, the boiling mountain, in 2429 B.E. This super eruption caused such a large ashfall that the Lekagar was completely black, and for several years the surface of the river was as thick as sludge. This is when the River got the name 'Lekagar' and the original name of the river was lost to time.

    The old mouth of the River flowed through a region known as Ladgan, the remaining area is a collection of Swamps, fresh and saltwater, as well as numerous islands. Much of the freshwater life that lives here has been separated from the mainland for several thousand years and have already diversified into new subspecies.

    Regalti History

    Two Nations

    In Ancient times, the Nation of Vefaria was on both sides of the river, but in 2428B.E., due to natural disaster and mismanagement, the north rebelled against the south, and the nation split in two, Vefaria was south of the river, and the new Empire of Araka was north of the river. For the next 2000 years, Araka and Vefaria were bitter rivals, only separated by the wide Lekagar River. East across the sunken lands was a third empire, Ladgan, that was neutral.

    The Lekagar is a naturally wide and deep river, with only a handful of crossings. Travel along the river for thousands of years was accomplished by boat or by tying together floating grass. Located near the mouth of the river was the city of Vorem-wreth. Numerous wars over the centuries have been fought for control of this city, because control of this city means you control the river, which means you control Vefaria and Araka and the entire eastern half of the Kenerif Continent.
    Civilizations around the region, 2400 B.E. - 400 B.E.

    400B.E. to 270 B.E. - Tevari control and the War of Purges

    In the year 400 B.E., both nations were subjugated by the Tevari imperium. Tevari built up the infrastructure of both nations, built a rail network, and built bridges across the Lekagar. In the year 271 B.E., the Tevari Emperor died with no heirs. This fractured the empire into hundreds of splinter factions, all fighting over control of the largest empire in Regalti history. This started the War of Purges, a devastating war of succession where each faction fought and wiped each other out until only a few remained.

    When the War was nearing its midway point, one Tevari faction had subjugated most others, and they restarted their rule over the whole world. The other nations of the world each started declaring their independence. The nation of Vefaria and Araka joined together into one nation, using the many bridges the old empire built across the Lekagar, uniting into one people once again, and declaring war on Tevari.

    The Fevarik front of the War of Purges was centered around the city of Vorem-Wreth, as control of that city would give control of the eastern half of the continent. The Tevari gained control of the city. They then started to destroy the many bridges to isolate the nations. A miscalculation from the Tevari cost them the war though. Their main airfield was on the Edagastra island to prevent attacks from the mainland. Edagastra was still an active volcano. It erupted once again, destroying their air force, which allowed Vefaria to claim victory.
    Havoc of War by Captain Moore
    Tevari was desperate for a victory, and started an aggressive bombing campaign to try to gain control. The city of Vorem-Wreth was completely destroyed during the war. Rather than rebuilding, Vefaria left the city abandoned and started the construction of new cities in other locations along the river. Nature quickly reclaimed the city in the centuries after this.

    269 B.E. to 354 A.E. - Industrial buildup to the Exodus

    After the war, Vefaria built many factory cities along the Lekagar, gaining an incredible amount of industrial capability in a short amount of time. The nation became a technological powerhouse and helped lead the way into space. This quick buildup heavily polluted the main river though, killing off countless plants and animals during this time.

    Then the Exodus happened. Billions of Regalti left their homeworld. The great factory cities of Vefaria were abandoned, as was their use of the Lekagar. what few Regalti remained no longer had an impact on the river. It took several centuries, but animals that had lived in the tributaries moved to the main river, and the River once again was filled with life. Most bridges that cross the river fell into disrepair and there are only two rail bridges that cross the main river now. The River now no longer plays an important role in history and has been reclaimed by nature.
    by Artbreeder

    River Ecology

    What follows are several selected species that live on the river, from each major group of animals, as well as several different plants::


    Ichthyosaurs

    Ichthyosaur.png
    Called Ekandra by the Regalti, these fish-like reptiles range across the entire length of the Lekagar. River ekandra are rather small, never reaching more than the length of a grown person, but occasionally one wanders from the sea that are much larger in proportion. Most species of egandra reproduce near the river's source and swim out to the lower elevations until they reach adulthood.

    Sea Crawler

    Sea Crawler.png
    This large bird does little more than float in the rivers near the coast, feeding off of seaweed and water urchins. While its large beak looks dangerous, they are little threat to anyone and they have few natural predators. Its meat is considered a delicacy and it was nearly hunted to extinction by the Regalti several centuries ago. The population has greatly recovered since then and they are rarely hunted now.

    Kesmodon

    Kesmodon Base 2.png
    The Kesmodon is the apex predator of the forests and wetlands around the Lekagar. These supremely intelligent, wolf-like mammals regularly hunt for just about anything. They are known to observe and use the hunting tactics of other species of animal as well as the Regalti.

    Giant Stillbird

    Crocobird.png
    This crocodilian bird waits motionless in the muddy waters near the shore with its mouth open, waiting for a chance to snap its jaws shut. The pattern of lines across its beak give the appearance of dead wood and due to refraction in the water, it is impossible to tell where it's mouth actually is.


    Lizards and Flying Lizards

    Lizards.png
    Hadkira is a general term for Lizard, and there are hundreds of different species that can be found all along the Lekagar. The largest Hadkira near the coast can grow to the size of a person and are quite dangerous. Most lizards on Collena have evolved several forms of flight and are actually rather tiny, from the size of your hand to the size of flies.

    Ikandi

    Ikandi partial.png
    A type of four legged bird. These herding animals eat seeds and small animals. They are able to swim and are often spotted near the shores of the Lekagar standing in the water with their heads below the surface, searching for food. They also peck at trees to get to the tasty sap underneath and are responsible for turning large areas of forests into grasslands around the river.

    Bladed Caecilians

    These extremely rare serpentine amphibians look similar to thorny vines. They live in the most humid parts of the Lekagar river system near the Void Lagoon. Their bodies are covered in rows of venomous spines that can kill just about any animal it comes into contact with. They hunt by just hanging there, for weeks or months, until sufficient prey comes along. Usually they hunt smaller animals. The moment it determines that it wants this next meal, it activates its many venom glands and immediately constricts and flails violently around, cutting into the skin of whatever creature it wants to catch. After being poisoned, the prey dies within several minutes, then the Bladed Caecilian reveals its head, and it slowly feasts on the carcass for several weeks.

    Balloon Jellies

    Discomedusae by Ernst Haeckel
    Balloon Jellies float just above the waters of the Lekagar in large numbers, with their tentacles just touching the surface ensnaring anything foolish enough to fly or swim close by. These animals quickly clean up the Cloud Flower Super Blooms that clog the surface of the river.

    Skyshells

    Skyshell.png
    Discomedusae by Ernst Haeckel
    Skyshells are often seen floating several hundred meters above the river. They hunt by dropping to a lower level, lowering their tentacles into the river, grabbing anything it can, then quickly ascending back into the sky. Also of note, the largest Skyshell ever recorded is at the mouth of the Lekagar in the Void Lagoon.

    Bataiva

    These large soft bodied creatures create nets with their silk. They hang off of tree branches and use the nets to pick up floating seeds and flowers. They then take the seeds to their rather large nests inside Cloud Trees to cultivate into more food. These creatures are so intelligent they could be considered Sapient.

    Argibugs

    These six legged, wingless insects greatly resemble Silverfish on Earth. Arthropods are nearly extinct on Collena and play almost no role in the environment, their ecological roles being taken up by mollusks, worms, reptiles and other groups. But still, these little guys persist. They are often found in piles of dead leaves and wood near the riverbanks.

    Cloud Flowers

    These tiny sky plants usually play no role in the ecosystem of the river, until an unpredictable Super Bloom happens, then they fall from the sky by the trillions after dying, clogging the surface of the Lekagar and other bodies of water, choking all life. If it wasn't for animals like Balloon Jellies and the Bataiva, cloud flowers would have ended all life on the river long before Regalti nearly did it themselves through pollution.

    floating grass

    There are several species of floating grasses on the Lekagar that grow so thick in such dense patches that it can support the weight of a fully grown person. Ancient Regalti gathered the grass to make floating bridges to safely cross the Lekagar. In modern times the grass was nearly culled to extinction so it wouldn't clog the engines of riverboats.

    Fish

    Called Agi by the Regalti. There are numerous species of fish in the waters of the Lekagar, too many to describe in the space here.

    Comments

    Author's Notes

    This was a fun challenge! I had meant to write about this region of my world for quite some time as it's the main setting for the story, but I couldn't figure out a starting point. The Region has a similar climate and ecosystem to that of the Mississippi river but that was all I had for a long time. With the River Challenge I found my starting point. I have the climate mapped out, I have dozens of plants and animals that live there, I have the history of the area in more detail than ever before. Thanks to this article, my world is starting to feel like a world!  

    To Do List

  • Writing.
  • Give article a pass or two, rewrite and reformat article so everything fits together, spelling errors are corrected, etc.
  • Final Spell check (then another pass after that).
  • Map images are Complete. Might need some tweaks to the text.
  • Edit other articles to reflect new words and info used here. For example, The Bevarian Empire is now the Tevari Imperium. This won't be done this month though as I never set these placeholder names in variables, so it will take some time to edit every article.
  • Images::
  • Images for History section (used unsplash and artbreeder to save time)
  • Kesmodon (Line art and solid colors done)
  • Ichthyosaurs
  • Giant Stillbird (line art and solid colors done)(Name still needs work, but is better than Mud Diver...)
  • Sea crawlers
  • Lizards (needs to be redone)
  • Ikandi
  • bladed caecilians (line art and solid colors done)
  • Balloon Jellies and Skyshells (public domain images)
  • Bataiva (Line art and solid colors. Did not turn out how I imagined it, but the weird appearance somehow works...)
  • Argibugs
  • Cloud flowers (Copied over images from the related article.)
  • floating grass (public domain image)
  • Fish (6 varieties, Done for the purposes of this article, but the fins, gills, and outlines need some more work.)

  •  


    Please Login in order to comment!
    2 May, 2022 18:21

    Genuinely impressed with how thorough this is! Love the map showing the Lekagar and the greater system of rivers.   ----------------------------------------------------------------   Feel free to check out my Rivers/Waterways entry: Loch Mesner

    7 May, 2022 14:31

    Thanks for taking the time to read this and thanks for the kind words!

    4 May, 2022 15:13

    This is a fantastic article. Very well thought out and great drawings. I especially like how you dived deeper into the creatures living there. The map is also really well done, it looks like it could come straight out of an atlas of your world.

    Feel free to check out my River challenge article and my Secrets in the swamp Adventure article if you want to see what I am up to!
    7 May, 2022 15:04

    Thanks for the like and comment! I had made a larger continent sized map last year in preparation for World Ember, but I didn't really use it much. When this geography challenge was announced I knew exactly what area to zoom in on, laser focus and refine. Map is still a work in progress, but I'm glad everyone likes what I have so far!

    4 May, 2022 20:39

    This is impressively extensive.

    7 May, 2022 14:06

    Thanks for the kind words!

    5 May, 2022 23:20

    Absolutely inspirational! This could easily be in a Starfinder book. You say the map's a WIP, but I could stare at it for an hour, super impressive.

    7 May, 2022 15:08

    I'm not sure if my work is yet worthy of being compared to professional writers and artists, but I am thankful that people are looking at my work that way. Thank you for this comment and kind words, It made my week!

    9 May, 2022 19:09

    Wow, wow, wow! I wish I could press that like button many more times! Seriously.   That map is so detailed, and I absolutely love that you have the historical river in there as well. It's so great that nature reclaimed the river. The creatures are fascinating, and the artwork is awesome. I also really love how you consider the effects on the river of when the jellies and the bataiva bloom.

    - Hello from Valayo! Featured work: How to Write Great Competition Articles
    11 May, 2022 02:15

    Thanks for giving my article a read and the like and comment. It means a lot!

    10 May, 2022 22:03

    I'm glad nature is recovering from all the pollution. Lots of animals!

    11 May, 2022 02:10

    Thanks for giving my article a read! I was worried at first that I had too many creatures, but everyone likes them and it's keeping me motivated to keep working on the art!

    11 May, 2022 01:29

    This is very well written and in depth! I love the art for the creatures as well. And the super intelligent bataiva hanging from the tree with a net made me smile! It's a really cool idea. :D

    *TimeBender*
    11 May, 2022 01:59

    Thanks for the like and kind words!

    12 May, 2022 02:09

    Very well done and thorough. Love the map and its layers, haven't seen anyone else do that. And that artwork is simply fantastic.

    Feel free to check out my River Challenge entry Arresadi River.
    3 Jun, 2022 15:51

    Thanks for giving my article a read and thanks for the comment!

    14 May, 2022 09:23

    I love everything about this with a special callout for the wonderful map. Genuinely inspiring. It makes me want to go back and redo my own map. Big ol' +1 from me. <3

    Snarky and Sarcastic to the End
    Sage George Sanders
    George Sanders
    18 May, 2022 03:54

    Great Map! I like the Ikandi with 4 legs and vestigial wings - and the flying reptiles. Many creative ideas. It was interesting to see the detailed people history and the large ecology section.

    Lutra lived in the Unilynn until its end, then her son Ardelis brought her to Etonia. She knows the story behind their home, The One River.
    3 Jun, 2022 16:00

    Thanks for giving my article a read and thanks for the kind words!   A note about the Ikandi is that while some birds did evolve flight on this world, most stayed planted firmly on the ground and those vestigial wings never actually evolved into proper wings. That's a detail another article and another time though.

    29 May, 2022 16:45

    Your article is amazing, very complete and yet it doesn't seem complicated. The geography is amazing and so are the animals. And the formatting is wonderful.

    12 Jun, 2022 03:00

    Thanks for reading and leaving this comment. I'm glad you enjoyed my article!

    4 Jun, 2022 17:00

    Brilliant article! The article made me feel like I was going through first geography, then history and in the end the biology class of the river and it was a great feeling. I love it how the numbers of the river in the sidebar make it feel like actual river, like the length of the river is 1,496 km instead of approx. 1,500 km. The map and all its layers are also absolutely awesome. The chosen pictures, the header and all the drawings of animals are beautiful and enlightening. Overall, absolutely wonderful job!

    12 Jun, 2022 03:00

    I put a huge amount of effort into this article and I love that everyone loves everything about it! Thankyou for reading and leaving this comment and kind words!